Everyone gets attached to their vehicles to varying degrees, but Erick Anderson of Gilbert, Arizona, didn’t really have a huge problem with that. Most of his builds were fairly straightforward, then he’d sell them off after having a few years of fun so he could move on to the next one. What he didn’t know, however, was that the ’65 C10 he was looking to buy a year or so ago for just $1,000 would soon become more than a truck, it would become a full-fledged member of the family. That sort of thing happens when it saves a life.
More on that later—but first, let’s take a moment and get into the nitty-gritty of this build. After he handed $1,000 to a kid to buy his abandoned project, Erick headed towards Lowboy Motorsports in Mesa, Arizona, to talk with his friend Todd about the direction of the build. The C10 needed some repair—that was for sure—as the frame was hacked up pretty good by the previous owner. They decided to raise the front crossmember, redo the entire back half of the frame, and then work out the suspension to make it as bulletproof as possible. The goal was to make sure the truck laid flat on the ground and tucked some vintage wheels properly. Out back, a three-bar suspension was installed, with a pair of airbags lifting and lowering the rear end that was sourced from a ’73 Chevy truck. Up front, the brakes were upgraded to discs using components from that same ’73 donor truck and parts from CPP. Bags replaced the front springs and once everything was squared away the front end was laid on the ground, completing the altitude adjustment.
Once the truck was back at Erick’s house it was parked in the garage in front of his toolbox so that he could work on swapping out the engine and some of the detail work on the interior. He pulled off the front clip to do some work, installed the 283 V-8, cut out the fenders, and put the clip back on just before he left on a business trip. It was a Saturday night when Erick got the call that scared him half to death.
It was the babysitter. Erick’s youngest son was in the garage with her, showing off his daddy’s toolbox and pointing out how far all of the drawers opened up. The weight of the tools caused the toolbox to suddenly shift forward, with his son directly beneath, scared stiff. Seven hundred pounds of steel lurched forward, the boy dropped to his knees, and the top of the cart stopped short of crushing the boy, which would have surely caused serious injuries. So did the babysitter step in and save his son? Nope. It was the C10.
See, the toolbox tipped and fell directly on top of the passenger side of the truck, which created a small wedge where the boy fit into. Even though he could barely move because of the open drawers and tools around him, he was alive, although he had a few cuts and a mild concussion. Erick directed the babysitter to get the neighbors to help pull off the toolbox, and then his son was taken to the doctor to get fixed up.
Because Erick put that clip on the front of the truck before his business trip, his son survived what could have been a tragic accident. This motivated him to move forward on the build, doing all of the paint and bodywork with the help of Joel Nelson of 1320 Designs in Phoenix, but left that ding in the front end to remind him of that scary day. Just a few months later, the interior and bed were completed, and Erick was driving the truck down the road with his son riding shotgun.
It’s not every day that a truck makes a huge impact on your life, but for Erick this C10 is now just as much a part of the family as his wife and sons. Other projects will come and go over the next few years, but Erick isn’t getting rid of this truck anytime soon.CT
1965 Chevrolet C10
Frame: stock ’65 Chevrolet C10
Modifications: back-halved rear frame, Z’d front crossmember
Rearend / Ratio: ’73 Chevrolet Silverado / 3.50
Rear Suspension: three-link, airbags
Rear Brakes: stock ’73 drum
Front Suspension: stock sway bar, NAPA front shocks, airbags
Front Brakes: ’73 Chevrolet disc, CPP power disc master cylinder
Front Wheels: 15x7 Astro Supremes
Rear Wheels: 15x7 Astro Supremes
Front Tires: 205/75R15 Tigerpaw
Rear Tires: 205/75R15 Tigerpaw
Gas Tank: Chevrolet Suburban gas tank located underneath the bed
Engine: 283 Chevrolet V-8
Valve Covers: finned
Manifold / Induction: Edelbrock / Holley 600-cfm carburetor
Ignition: MSD HEI
Headers: stock, cast-iron
Exhaust / Mufflers: custom exhaust
Transmission: Chevrolet 700-R4 automatic
Modifications: Corvette servos and shift kit
Style: Chevrolet C10 shortbed Fleetside
Fenders Front: stock
Bed: custom bed floor cover with custom-built trunk
Bodywork and Paint By: Joel Nelson, 1320 Designs in Phoenix
Paint Type / Color: semi-flat champagne with white scallops
Headlights / Taillights: stock
Bumpers: N.O.S. chromed
Dashboard: pinstriped and painted
Air Conditioning: Vintage Air A/C
Stereo: Kenwood CD Player, Kenwood amplifier, Kenwood 6x9 3-ways
Steering Wheel: Chevrolet Deluxe
Steering Column: stock
Seats: factory bench seat, white vinyl with diamond tuck panels
Upholstery By: Larcar Upholstery, Mesa, AZ
Material / Color: vinyl / white
Carpet: black loop